Is paracetamol safe to take on a regular basis for chronic pain?
After reading an article about a man who died through taking too many paracetamol tablets, it made me really think about the number of drugs I am currently taking. Apparently, he suffered from bad sciatica and was warned he was using too much paracetamol but as he thought the ones prescribed by his GP were too strong, he just carried on taking the paracetamol.
His brother said that he would have a drink every night with two paracetamol and then take another two later. The post-mortem examination found a high level of paracetamol in the man’s blood and damage to his liver. The cause of death was liver failure due to paracetamol overdose.
Of course with paracetamol readily available from a number of shops, I’m sure a lot of people do not realise just how many they are allowed to take.
I am on the full dosage of opiates and an extra 50mg which my pain consultant has let me take to help me sleep without pain. I also take two different types of muscle relaxants and also take paracetamol.
My GP does do the odd blood test to keep an eye on my liver as it does fluctuate a bit. But, I must admit this article has made me rethink my drug taking as I wonder how my liver will be in say ‘ten years time’.
The NHS site says “Daily paracetamol could raise the risk of heart attacks, stroke and early death,” the Mail Online reports.
A new review of previous observational studies found that long-term use of paracetamol was linked with a small increased risk of adverse events such as heart attacks, gastrointestinal bleeds (bleeding inside the digestive system) and impaired kidney function.
They point out that ‘it is important to be aware that, as these are observational studies, there is the potential for various sources of bias’ but they finish with ‘the findings that paracetamol could potentially have adverse longer-term effects, particularly when used at higher doses, is important, especially as the drug is used by millions. Therefore, further investigation is needed.’
The countdown has begun for the 2018 Back Pain Awareness Week which is on the 8th-12th October – #backpainweek
Back Pain Awareness Week (#backpainweek) this year is the 8th-12th October, and the theme this year is back pain in older adults.
Backcare writes that Back pain is one of the major disabling health conditions among older adults aged 60 years and older. Many causes of lower back pain are age-related with physical and psychosocial changes. There is a distinct lack of awareness, especially in older adults to the causes and effects of back pain and pain management.
In BackCare’s TalkBack Summer Magazine an article from Arthritis Research points out that INCREASING numbers of people are suffering from low back pain worldwide – an issue being made worse by the prevalence of inappropriate treatment methods, according to recent scientific papers published by The Lancet.
It is most common and burdensome in working populations, with many older people finding that their back pain prevents them from taking part in daily activities. Although most cases of low back pain are short-lasting, recurrences are common, with the costs associated with back pain-related healthcare and work disability
shown to be enormous.
Events throughout the week include –
Physiotherapy with Katrina from Bodyworks Physiotherapy Clinic – Monday 10.30-11.30 A talk outlining the most common lower back issues in older adults and a demonstration of exercises to help lower back conditions.
Osteopathy with Lindee and Ned – Tuesday 10.30-11.30 Understanding how your posture affects your breathing and learn how to breathe to optimise your health and wellbeing.
Rehabilitation with Jamie – Wednesday 10.30-11.30 Learn about the benefits of exercise to back health and function.
Podiatry with Paul from Expert Podiatry a free event on Thursday 10.30-11.30 The importance of foot function is working out the cause of managing your back pain.
Seated Pilates with Claire from Bodyworks Physiotherapy Clinic – Friday 10.30-11.30 Seated exercises designed to improve your physical strength, flexibility, posture, and enhance mental awareness.
If you don’t want to resort to taking any form of drugs then you need to find the best thing to help with pain relief for back pain or fibromyalgia. Here is a list of …… which are all specifically made for back pain and fibromyalgia.
Healthline has a list of 5 natural painkillers for pain relief.
- Willow Bark – People have been using willow bark to ease inflammation, the cause of most aches and pains, for centuries. The bark of the white willow contains the chemical salicin, which is similar to the main ingredient in aspirin (Bayer).
- Tumeric – Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow colour and unique flavour. It contains the compound curcumin, an antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radical molecules that can damage cells and tissue.
- Whole cloves – Whole cloves are often used to spice up meat and rice dishes. Ground cloves are used in pies and many other foods. As a medicine, cloves can be found in capsule or powder form. Clove oil is also available.
- Acupuncture – Acupuncture may relieve pain by causing the body to release serotonin, a “feel-good” chemical that eases the pain.
- Among the most common home pain remedies is applying heat and ice directly to sites of pain. While this treatment may seem obvious, not everyone’s clear on exactly when to use ice versus heat.
A book on CBS Hemp Oil: A Natural Alternative for Disease Treatment and Pain Relief by Christopher Knowles is available on Amazon and research has shown that there are two main components of Marijuana that are showing promising results for the treatment of many medical conditions. The two main components that are showing promising results include: THC and Cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is the non-psychoactive ingredient that will not cause people to “get high”. Cannabidiol is the component that can be extracted from the different areas of the plant including both the marijuana portion and the hemp portion and is offering promising results in treating rare medical conditions, and another way to get pain relief without drugs.
Physique is a website with some great pain relieving items and there Deep Freeze Cold Patches are perfect for someone who finds cold is better than heat for pain. If you prefer heat for pain then the Thermacare heated back wrap can give you 16 hours of pain relief. If you like using both then there is a great company called Pain Relief Cushions which sell different types of wheat filled bags that can go into the microwave for heat or freezer for cold. I cannot manage without these pain relief cushions which I pop into the microwave on a regular basis. Just the smell of the lavender they are filled with helps me to relax.
Actipatch – The ActiPatch® product provides advanced long-lasting chronic pain relief using Electromagnetic Pulse Therapy and works great for back pain, knee pain, muscle & joint pain, arthritis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, strains, sprains and more. ActiPatch® is drug and ingredient-free so is safe for continuous use and can be used while taking any other medication.
Of course, the posture shirts which I have written about before are another type of pain relief for any type of back pain. A new great spinal support is a ‘Posture Shirt‘ made by Alignmed, who sell patented posture clothing. Their shirts give you a gentle pull and help relieve pain. It also helps to correct your body alignment, improve your balance and increase your mobility. They say ‘your posture has an influence on your physical health and overall well-being, so having aligned posture benefits us during work, training and in everyday life.’
Finally, for anyone suffering from sciatica the Sciatica Pain Relief Cushion is an absolute must for home and in the car where you will feel pain relief straight away. The Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion is a class 1 medical device designed to alleviate the pressure on the sciatic nerve while sitting allowing the nerve space and time to heal. By placing the cushion on your seat every time you sit you are able to stretch your sciatic nerve whilst reducing the increased pressure the nerve experiences during sitting. This cushion is specifically designed for people who have sciatica pain symptoms that are aggravated or exacerbated while sitting or seated. It is easy to use and safe.
Does bad posture cause back pain? Well of course it does. There are lots of reasons that you are suffering from back pain but sitting and standing badly will definitely contribute to that.
In my youth (many years ago) you were given a sash to wear around your waist which you were only given to you if you had good deportment. There was even an end of term deportment prize which was something I never managed to achieve so maybe that’s the reason for my back problems (if only, mine was a malformation in my lumbar spine).